One More Walk

walking“We need to take a last walk here before we leave,” Emmy said this morning. We’ve sold our current house, and the moving truck will be here in a few days to move our things to the new place.

It will be bittersweet walking with my little daughter on our old route one last time. We know about every tree and yard and house along the way from memory. Emily has grown up on that route, having accompanied me on the walk before she was even born. Then it was in the stroller, then running and playing the route as a preschooler, then a kindergartner and now, nearly a first grader on the brink of her sixth birthday.

I’ve watched the sunshine in her brown hair that has the gold highlights, seen her limbs get longer and longer and lose their chubbiness. I’ve listened to her questions about the world and God and flowers and birds along that route. Walks are great conversation times with children. You have the privilege of introducing them to the larger world. Those are precious memories to me that are locked away in the bank vault that all mothers have in their hearts.

We tentatively walked near our new house the other day. It will take a while to feel like it’s home. The houses and yards are unfamiliar, and there aren’t sidewalks like there are in our old neighborhood. There is the paved trail to the south of our house where people bike and walk. We’re going to have to explore that. Along the avenue before you turn into our new subdivision there is sidewalk that runs north for quite a ways. The nature preserve to the west of the avenue makes it feel like you are suddenly in the country. I liked that a lot when I drove past.

I met a walking neighbor in her late 70’s. She walks five miles a day. We have met several neighbors who are original home builders/owners in the neighborhood and had a wonderful chat with several the other evening after they approached us while we were working in our yard. New friends are already being made.

I was in the back by my flowers inside my picket fence the other evening when I suddenly heard a high piping voice of a child calling out in excitement.

“Grammy, Grammy!”

It was little Peter, my grandson, and his baby brother Max standing on the other side of my gate, waiting to be let in. Grammy and Grandpa’s new yard.

New adventures are calling, and there are new memories to be made!

“Time is like a river. You cannot touch the same water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment in life.” ~ Unknown

P.S. Tom’s friend who has a big garden came over the other night and told us what we had in our new flower garden and front mound. The previous owner was an avid gardener who clearly knew much about flowers and bushes. He made suggestions about what to pull and what to leave, and with my sister-in-law and her husband’s help this week, the place looks wonderful. They removed some of the dying plants that had been neglected too long and did some pruning back of bushes and roses. Tom, Kris and Mike cut back the beautiful magnolia tree in the front so the light comes into the front of the house now. It’s all coming along, one step at a time.

Inside the Gate – Garden Notes

As work on the new house proceeds, occasional breaks are called for. Our yard is in two parts, gatea large stretch on the outside of the white picket fence, and the other, smaller part inside. The inside part with the flowers is my new sanctuary. I sat there the other night thinking how much work the previous owner, an older lady who passed away, had gone to to make such a beautiful place. It gives me pleasure to think I will take good care of it for her.

Emily and I were sitting on the patio in late afternoon when a little chipmunk came running under the fence with something in his mouth. He stopped and looked around sharply and seemed satisfied that all was well in his garden. He went under some low hanging leaves in the border and was scurrying around there for a while. He peeped out at us several times, his cheeks still bulging. We sat quietly and just watched him. We had invaded his space, but we wanted him to know we were friends.

A robin flew down from the towering pine tree in the neighbor’s yard and landed on the fence. There are baby birds in the birdhouse on the outside of the fence. Yellow finches dart around the flowers and back out again, a bright flash of color.

The beds are getting choked with weeds, and thistles are springing up all over. Outside in the front part of the yard there is a large mound with roses and peony bushes, and the thistles are taking over. I’m leaving shortly to get a start on the weeds. They have a way of taking over if not addressed promptly.Just like in human souls and minds, it occurs to me.

So many thoughts run through my mind walking around and looking at the new yard. Tom is taking a tree down in the front that effectively hides the front of the house. He has plans. Last night we were looking at things at the garden center, and he told me what he wants to do. It is going to look lovely when he’s done.

Tom bought me a fat little cherub for my new garden. Emily was concerned that the baby angel might be lonely after dark outside all by herself. I assured her that the little chipmunks and other small creatures would make sure the cherub would have company.

Cherub

I hope to get a bird bath this week for the birds seem to want one as they fly over and stop on the top of my fence. They’ll hopefully soon have one, so they know that friends, big and small, are welcome in our little sanctuary.

Gardens are a lot of work. Tom is mildly amused at my zeal, but pleased at my new interest. He bought me garden gloves and a wide-brimmed hat for the sun. I’ll be the goofy garden lady with the straw hat in our new neighborhood.

One other blessing occurred yesterday that I am hugging to myself this morning. Emmy was zooming around our driveway on her pink scooter at the new house, and I was emptying our van out with some boxes, when I heard a voice. A neighbor couple on bikes were at the end of the driveway. With them was a little girl the very same age as Emily on her bike. We had a really nice introduction and conversation. They have already invited Emily over to play and to go raspberry picking with them. There are no words to describe what this means to me, as Emily has had a shortage (as in none) of neighborhood friends, siblings or cousins her age that she can play with on a regular basis. She is always alone. The mom explained that her daughter is in the same situation with only older siblings and no sisters. It sounds promising.

I’m headed off shortly to do battle with the thistles. The ornery things think they’re boss or something. My birds and the little cherub await, just beyond the fence, inside the gate.

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